Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Grant program for preservation of digital materials

Grant program for preservation of digital materials

From: William Lefurgy <wlef>
Date: Friday, June 18, 2004
Library of Congress Partners with National Science Foundation to
Fund Advanced Research into Preservation of Digital Materials

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation
Program of the Library of Congress (NDIIPP) is partnering with the
National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the first research
grants program to specifically address the preservation of digital
materials. NSF will administer the program, which will fund
cutting-edge research to support the long-term management of digital
information.This effort is part of the Library's collaborative
program to implement a national digital preservation strategy.

   "One of the most critical issues we face in the preservation of
    digital materials is a need for better technology and methods to
    manage these objects over long periods of time," said Associate
    Librarian for Strategic Initiatives Laura E. Campbell, who is
    directing this initiative for the Library. "We are very pleased
    to be working with the National Science Foundation to encourage
    important research breakthroughs. This will help the Library of
    Congress, as well as our network of partners who are working
    with us, to preserve America's digital heritage for future

The research program announcement coincides with the signing today
of a memorandum of understanding between the Library of Congress and
NSF to collaborate over the next decade in a broad set of research
activities related to digital libraries and digital archives. The
formalized collaboration arose from a joint Library of Congress and
NSF workshop in April 2002 that developed a research agenda in these
areas. Through their leadership, NSF and the Library will encourage
other government agencies to continue research support for improving
the state of knowledge and practice of digital libraries and digital

The new Digital Archiving and Long-Term Preservation research
program, which expects to make to make approximately $2 million in
initial awards using NDIIPP funds, has three main focus areas for
which proposals are sought:

    Digital repository models
    Tools, technologies and processes
    Organizational, economic and policy issues.

The NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and
Engineering, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, will
issue a call for proposals shortly; See
<URL:> for current

Background: In December 2000, Congress authorized the Library of
Congress to develop and execute a congressionally approved plan for
a National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation
Program. A $99.8 million congressional appropriation was made to
establish the program. According to Conference Report H. Rept.
106-1033, "The overall plan should set forth a strategy for the
Library of Congress, in collaboration with other federal and
nonfederal entities, to identify a national network of libraries and
other organizations with responsibilities for collecting digital
materials that will provide access to and maintain those materials.
In addition to developing this strategy, the plan shall set forth,
in concert with the Copyright Office, the policies, protocols and
strategies for the long-term preservation of such materials,
including the technological infrastructure required at the Library
of Congress."

The legislation mandates that the Library work with federal entities
such as the Secretary of Commerce, the Director of the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Archives and
Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine, the
National Agricultural Library, the National Institute of Standards
and Technology and "other federal, research and private libraries
and institutions with expertise in telecommunications technology and
electronic commerce policy." The goal is to build a network of
committed partners with defined roles and responsibilities working
through a preservation architecture.

The Library of Congress digital strategy is being formulated in
concert with a study, commissioned by the Librarian of Congress, and
undertaken by the National Research Council Computer Science and
Telecommunications Board. "LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library
of Congress" was issued July 26, 2000, and made several
recommendations, including that the Library, working with other
institutions, take the lead in the preservation and archiving of
digital materials.

The complete text of the "Plan for the National Digital Information
Infrastructure and Preservation Program" is available at
<URL:>. This includes an
explanation of how the plan was developed, whom the Library worked
with to develop the plan and the key components of the digital
preservation infrastructure. The plan was approved by Congress in
December 2002.

A national-level multisector interdisciplinary workshop was convened
by the Library and the National Science Foundation in April 2002 to
identify the significant and unique research issues and
opportunities related to long-term management and preservation of
digital materials. The workshop report is published as "It's About
Time: Research Challenges in Digital Archiving and Long-term
Preservation" and is available at


    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

NSF has a history of support for research in digital government and
digital libraries, which will benefit the new collaboration with the
Library of Congress. The NSF Digital Government Research Program
(<URL:>) was established in 1999 in
response to a number of national workshops recommending sponsored
research in this area. Its goal is to study problems that intersect
traditional computer science research and the information needs of
federal agencies. The program supports research projects that
innovatively, effectively and broadly address potential improvement
of agency, interagency and intergovernmental operations and
government-citizen interaction.

NSF led the federal government's interagency 1994-2004 Digital
Libraries Initiative <URL:>, which was
established to extend and develop innovative digital library
technologies and applications. The initiatives involved the Library
of Congress, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Library
of Medicine and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with
participation from the National Archives and the Smithsonian
Institution. Today, NSF continues to support digital libraries
research through projects established by the Digital Libraries
Initiative and an International Digital Libraries Collaborative
Research program. In addition, NSF administers the National Science
Digital Library <URL:>, which aims to establish
a network of learning environments and resources for science,
technology, engineering and mathematics education.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Through
its National Digital Library (NDL) Program, it is also one of the
leading providers of noncommercial intellectual content on the
Internet (<URL:>). The NDL Program's flagship
American Memory project, in collaboration with 33 institutions
nationwide, makes freely available more than 8.5 million American
historical items.

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency
that supports fundamental research and education across all fields
of science and engineering. National Science Foundation funds reach
all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and
institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive
requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The
National Science Foundation also awards more than $200 million in
professional and service contracts yearly.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:2
                   Distributed: Friday, June 18, 2004
                        Message Id: cdl-18-2-011
Received on Friday, 18 June, 2004

[Search all CoOL documents]